3 Sales Tips for Consultants: How to Close the Deal

By MBO Partners | May 24, 2024


Key Points

Selling services you know a lot about and are passionate about may seen simple and straightforward.

It's one thing to be an expert in your industry and another to have mastered effective sales techniques and strategies.

Knowing how to communicate your services in a compelling way, turning the sales presentation into a two-way conversation, and exercising patience in the sales process can help close the deal.

You’re an expert in your industry, so it should be easy to sell your services, right? Not necessarily. Just because you’re knowledgeable and produce excellent results, if you haven’t developed effective sales skills, you may struggle to close deals.

The good news is that, if you lack these skills, there are many things you can do to help yourself become a better salesperson and close more deals. Whether you need to work on the basics or master more advanced subtleties, here are three key areas of the sales process you can set as ongoing goals for improvement.

1. Communicate Your Value

As an independent professional, it might seem like a given that you’re already familiar with the services you offer. After all, you created your business, designed your services, and perform them on a regular basis. But being able to rattle off a list of services and implement them successfully is not the same thing as having the ability to comfortably communicate what you do to a client.

Knowing your services inside and out—and how they can be applied to various situations—can help build confidence during an initial client pitch or presentation. You will be better prepared to communicate the value of what you offer, overcome any objections, and discuss your abilities and area of expertise with confidence.

2. Learn Your Client’s Needs

A frequent mistake made in sales, particularly for those with limited experience or independents who are more introverted, is to turn the process into a one-sided presentation rather than a two-way conversation. A common misconception is to think of sales meetings and presentations as advertisements: the salesperson speaks while the client silently receives the message. In reality, approaching the sales process with these concrete, defined roles will likely annoy and turn off a potential client.

The sales process is actually more similar to a series of interviews. While you will want to highlight your benefits, value, and expertise, a prospective client will also need ample opportunities to ask questions that will let them know if you are the right fit for their needs. Additionally, asking questions of your own and listening to what the client says can help you understand their needs and goals so you can formulate a strategy to address them.

For many independents, the process of improving listening skills is ongoing. Even experienced independents may need continued work in this area, learning how to ask more probing questions, anticipate responses, and use comments and feedback more effectively.

3. Stay Patient During the Sales Process

Whether you’re simply ready for more work, enthusiastic about an exciting potential project, or anxious to grow your business, it can be tempting to speed through the client acquisition process so you can get to work. However, giving into impatience can backfire and make you a less-effective salesperson.

Learning to be patient throughout the sales process is a trait of an effective salesperson. Of course, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t continue to be (or learn to be) persistent. The key is to recognize and understand that sales is a process, progressing from introduction to closing, that can’t be rushed more quickly than the potential client is comfortable with. Additionally, the ideal pace may vary from one client to another; if you lose patience or push too aggressively you could easily lose the deal. Keep in touch with the client and follow up as appropriate, but be patient and give the client time to gain trust and confidence in you.


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